Jaipur: The BJP’s drubbing in Rajasthan bypolls that concluded on Thursday has come with a huge swing of votes away from the ruling party in just four years.
In all 17 assembly segments where people voted in these bypolls, BJP’s vote share has fallen compared to the 2013 and 2014 elections.
In Alwar parliamentary constituency, BJP’s vote share has steep dived from nearly 61% in 2014 to barely 40% in the bypolls held on January 29. Riding on the Modi wave of 2014, BJP’s Mahant Chand Nath had defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s close aide and the then Union minister Jitendra Singh by a massive margin of around 2.84 lakh votes.
In the bypoll held now due to Nath’s demise, Congress’ Karan Singh Yadav defeated BJP’s Jaswant Singh Yadav with more than 1.96 lakh votes. Congress’ vote gain has seen an impressive rise from just around 34% in 2014 to almost 58% in the bypoll. Resentment against local and state leadership, anger in Meo community due to Pehlu Khan lynching and apprehensions among Dalits over BJP-RSS’s stand on the quota system are believed to have alienated voters in this constituency.
In Ajmer parliamentary area, the BJP vote share has dropped from about 56% in 2014 to almost 44% in the bypoll. While the drop in Alwar Lok Sabha has been of 21%, in Ajmer Lok Sabha it has been loss of 12% votes for the BJP.
In 2014, BJP’s Sanwarlal Jat defeated Congress’ Sachin Pilot, who too was a union minister then, by a margin of about 1.72 lakh votes. Four years down the road, Congress’ Raghu Sharma, an ex-MLA, has defeated BJP’s Ramswaroop Lamba, son of Sanwarlal Jat who died last year, with more than 84,000 votes. Congress has made a gain of 10% votes—from 41% in 2014 to 51% now.
Anguish within BJP and RSS cadres over party’s choice of candidate, chief minister Vasundhara Raje playing caste cards while campaigning here and Congress responding to it with the ‘Jat versus others’ election strategy, combined with the ire of Rajputs/Ravna Rajputs and Brahmins who felt their leaders were being sidelined in state BJP, dealt a body blow to the ruling party in Ajmer Lok Sabha bypoll.
In the Mandalgarh assembly area, which is part of Bhilwara parliamentary constituency, BJP’s vote share has nosedived by 20% from 52% in 2013 to 32% now. The resentment of Brahmins helped Congress reclaim its bastion—BJP has won here just twice since 1952—in the bypoll.
Though Congress vote share has fallen by less than 1% as compared to its performance in 2013 state elections, this was being attributed to the triangular contest the assembly witnessed in the bypoll, with a Congress rebel pocketing as many as 23% votes.
In 2013, BJP won the Mandalgarh assembly seat with its candidate Kirti Kumari defeating Congress’ Vivek Dhakar by a margin of more than 18,000 votes. Dhakar has, however, bounced back by defeating BJP’s Shakti Singh Hada by almost 13,000 votes in the bypolls. Kirti Kumari succumbed to swine flu last year.
Box: Vote share BJP loses, Cong gains in 4 yrs
Alwar: 2018 BJP 40.07% Cong 57.73%
2014 BJP 60.56% Cong 33.79%
Ajmer: 2018 BJP 43.94% Cong 50.98%
2014 BJP 55.74% Cong 40.71%
Mandalgarh: 2018 BJP 32.19% Cong 39.50%
2013 BJP 51.57% Cong 40.06% Source : timesofindia